IMDb > "Columbo" Murder by the Book (1971)
"Columbo: Murder by the Book (#1.1)"
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"Columbo" Murder by the Book (1971)

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Murder by the Book: Season 1: Episode 1 -- US Home Video Trailer from Universal TV

Overview

User Rating:
7.6/10   2,137 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Steven Bochco (written by)
Richard Levinson (created by) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Murder by the Book on IMDbPro.
TV Series:
Original Air Date:
15 September 1971 (Season 1, Episode 1)
Genre:
Plot:
When one member of a mystery writing team wants to break from his less talented partner, he becomes the victim in a real-life murder mystery. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
NewsDesk:
(4 articles)
Falk's Daughter Makes Her Case For Conservatorship In Court
 (From WENN. 28 May 2009, 12:15 PM, PDT)

Bullitt And Knight Rider's Autos Rev Up On Top Car List
 (From WENN. 4 February 2009, 11:45 PM, PST)

Hotel Builder Sues Sinatra + Falk
 (From WENN. 13 August 2008, 8:58 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
First "Columbo" series episode See more (29 total) »

Cast

 (Episode Cast) (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Peter Falk ... Columbo

Jack Cassidy ... Ken Franklin

Rosemary Forsyth ... Joanna Ferris

Martin Milner ... Jim Ferris
Barbara Colby ... Lilly La Sanka
Lynette Mettey ... Gloria Jr. (as Lynnette Mettey)
Bernie Kuby ... Mike Tucker

Hoke Howell ... Sergeant

Marcia Wallace ... Woman (credit only)
Haven Earle Haley ... 2nd Reporter
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Leon Alton ... Theatre Patron (uncredited)
Frank Baker ... Theatre Patron (uncredited)
Anitra Ford ... Woman at Theater (uncredited)
Bobby Gilbert ... Theatre Patron (uncredited)
George Golden ... Theatre Patron (uncredited)
Paul King ... Theatre Patron (uncredited)
Joseph La Cava ... Medical Examiner (uncredited)
Ethelreda Leopold ... Theatre Patron (uncredited)
Leoda Richards ... Theatre Patron (uncredited)
Mark Russell ... Police Sgt. (uncredited)
Jeffrey Sayre ... Theatre Patron (uncredited)

Episode Crew
Directed by
Steven Spielberg 
 
Writing credits
Steven Bochco (written by)

Richard Levinson (created by) &
William Link (created by)

Produced by
Richard Levinson .... producer
William Link .... producer
Robert F. O'Neill .... associate producer
 
Original Music by
Billy Goldenberg 
 
Cinematography by
Russell Metty (director of photography) (as Russell L. Metty)
 
Film Editing by
John Kaufman  (as John Kaufman Jr.)
 
Art Direction by
Archie J. Bacon  (as Arch Bacon)
 
Set Decoration by
Richard Friedman 
 
Production Management
Henry Kline .... unit manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Ralph Ferrin .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
David H. Moriarty .... sound
 
Stunts
Hubie Kerns Jr. .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Burton Miller .... costumes
 
Editorial Department
Richard Belding .... editorial supervisor
Steve Johnson .... colorist (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Henry Mancini .... composer: theme
James D. Young .... music editor (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Steven Bochco .... story editor
Attila De Lado .... main title design (as Attila de Lado)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
76 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Australia:PG (video rating) | Denmark:11 (2004) | Finland:K-7 (2004) | Norway:15 (2004) | Sweden:15 (2004) | UK:PG (video rating) (2000)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Characters Ken Franklin (Cassidy) and Jim Ferris (Milner) go for a drive from Los Angeles and end up on the South Shore of Big Bear Lake in the San Bernardino Mountains. They stop at a once famous old building (used in the episode as a local market) that was on the inside of a very scenic corner across the highway from Juniper Point Picnic Area. The building, however, was removed from the property about the mid 2000's - the location is on the same side of the highway and not far from the Big Bear Discovery Center.See more »
Goofs:
Crew or equipment visible: Shadow of camera appears on actors standing just in front of the camera.See more »
Quotes:
[first lines]
[Jim works in his office]
Jim Ferris:[knock on the door] Who is it?
[another knock on the door]
Jim Ferris:[He opens the door - Ken is aiming a gun at his face. Jim laughs]
Ken Franklin:Oh, you're not intimidated.
Jim Ferris:Oh, come on, Ken. You're forgetting that I'm one-half of the world's greatest mystery-writing team? You, ah, don't have gloves on, your finger's not on the trigger, and there are no bullets in the cylinder.
Ken Franklin:[smiling] You're right. I'm a lousy practical joker.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Love Theme from 'Red Sky At Morning'See more »

FAQ

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12 out of 15 people found the following review useful.
First "Columbo" series episode, 21 April 2007

Peter Falk's third appearance as Columbo (after a pair of two-hour NBC World Premiere Movies) officially kicked off the "Columbo" series, as well as the "NBC Mystery Movie" in September 1971.

Filmed after the superior "Death Lends a Hand," but aired first, it has the distinction of having been directed by Steven Spielberg in those days before "Jaws" when he was still cranking out episodic television on the backlot of Universal. There are some smart directorial touches, particularly in the opening scenes where the sound of Martin Milner's typewriter serves as the sole soundtrack, but this a disappointing episode overall.

As the less talented half of a famous mystery writing team (not unlike Richard Levinson and William Link, "Columbo"'s creators), Jack Cassidy makes a classy villain, one who would be invited to square off against Peter Falk on two more occasions (including season three's "Publish or Perish" which was also set against a publishing background). Unfortunately, Steven Bochco's script drags along, making this a frequently dull episode. Worse, the denouement finds Columbo wrapping things up based on flimsier than usual evidence. Had the killer not confessed, he could have walked away from his crime.

Still, Peter Falk is terrific, and makes it worth watching.

Brian W. Fairbanks

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